Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren at the Democratic presidential primary debate (Image: AP/John Minchillo)

To the uninitiated foreigner, the televised debates of the Democratic presidential candidates may seem like a nightmarish talk show. The rapid-fire projection of sweaty heads and blinking infographics beam directly into the deepest corners of the viewer’s tormented id.

But to the foreigner tragic enough to be initiated, such as myself, they are simply a hoot.

My love of the American grotesque has brought me back to this country again and again. The American knack for, and dependence on, spectacle has led me to hot dog eating contests, Halloween dog-costume parades, and underground wrestling matches where men smash florescent light tubes on their opponents' balding skulls. I am drawn to these spectacles because in them you see and feel the quintessence of America and what it is to be American.